If you’ve been anywhere near a computer or TV the past few weeks, you’ve probably heard that Felix Baumgartner, aka “Fearless Felix”, set a new record for the highest free fall jump when he stepped off a capsule at 24 miles above the earth’s surface.


His death-defying plunge from space will have implications for the future of space suit design —plus it’s just plain awesome. It’s certainly an inspiring story, and it got me thinking about what content marketers can learn from Baumgartner’s new record.

#1. Try something new. Baumgartner was able to achieve a supersonic skydive, break the sound barrier and generate so much buzz because he did something that had never been done before – jump from 24 miles up in the air. Similarly, if you want your content strategy to capture the attention of your audience, it could be time to try something new as well.

For example, the prospect of video marketing might still be intimidating to some, but the latest technology has made it far easier for even the smallest marketing organizations to take advantage of the power of video. And tools like Brainshark make creating online video presentations easy, fast and cost-effective, with no video production experience necessary.

#2. Push your boundaries. Baumgartner has done plenty of free falls in the past, but he kept pushing his limits and jumping from greater and greater heights, including an 18-mile skydive leading up to the event.

As content marketers, maybe you have created online video content before, but what about all the ideas and channels you haven’t tried yet? For example, you could try making a video teaser to help promote your latest whitepaper (like this one), or create video invitations to help drive registration for upcoming webinars and events.

#3. Have a plan and commit to it. Baumgartner left one skydiving record unbroken – the longest free fall of all time, which is still held by his mentor Joe Kittinger (more than four and a half minutes!). That record stands in large part because Baumgartner pulled his parachute cord at 5,000 feet, which was always part of his plan.

When trying a new strategy, marketers should have a clear idea of what they want to accomplish, what information they want to get across, the channels they are using (email, social media, etc.), and make sure they follow-through on deployment. Put clear deadlines in place and hold your team (and yourself) to them.

#4. Measure the result. With real-time measurements, Baumgartner’s team was able to learn the outcome of the dive right away. He hit speeds of 833 miles per hour and consequently was the first person to break the sound barrier without a jet or other aircraft.

With content marketing, you should always track and report on the effectiveness of your campaigns, especially when it comes to online video. It’s helpful to measure audience retention so you can better understand which parts of your video are connecting with your viewers – and which parts are making them drop off – so you can make your future content even more relevant.

#5. Land on your feet. Best laid plans can still go awry. Baumgartner spun out of control for 35 seconds of the free fall and the command center thought he might lose consciousness. But he eventually did get his bearings back and was able to literally land on his feet.

The moral here is that if you try something new and it doesn’t work out at first, don’t be afraid to adjust. Sometimes trying a different approach won’t work out like you hoped it would, but it might just lead you to yet another idea that does.

Be as fearless as Felix in your job as a content marketer. After all, the best way to get new results is to try something you haven’t done before.

Image Credit: Associated Press